Student Complaint Procedure: Formal

Type: 
Procedure
Category: 
Students
Department: 
Academic and Student Affairs
Phone: 
(541) 463-5732
Primary Contact: 
Kerry Levett
Contact Email: 
Responsible Executive Authority: 
Executive Dean, Student Affairs
Purpose: 

The formal complaint procedure is designed to resolve problems for students who are having difficulties with other students or staff that cannot be resolved through the informal report and resolution process, or that students choose to have investigated and judged in a formal setting. This procedure details the filing process and lists other types of complaint procedures. Although the process is confidential, a student's identity cannot be withheld from the person(s) identified as the source of the problem.

Narrative: 

Before filing a formal student complaint, the student must have attempted to resolve the issue with the manager of the area or division/department involved. 

In addition, complaints against faculty cannot be pursued through this process.  Student complaints about faculty members shall be made to the division dean who is that faculty member's supervisor and shall be subject to the dispute resolution procedures as outlined in the faculty contract. If the student believes that the supervisor has not resolved the issue, the student may appeal to the supervisor's Executive Dean. 

Type of ComplaintExplanationHow to file a complaintHow to appeal a complaint outcome
Academic issues: Grade & Degree AppealA student may appeal specific grades, probation and dismissal, and degree requirements. Students are directed to appropriate forms, documents, and departments to consult for specific appeal processes.Academic Requirements Review Committee PetitionAppeals for issues related to Lane Community College's academic probation and/or dismissal policy must be made in writing to the Academic Progress Review Committee through Enrollment and Student Financial Services (Bldg 1).
Discrimination or harassmentThis discrimination and harassment complaint procedure is designed to provide all members of the College community with a process for reporting incidents of discrimination or harassment, and to provide for prompt and effective response to and resolution of reports of discrimination or harassment.Complaint FormAny appeal must be submitted in writing to the President within 5 working days of the date of the Vice President's written notice of findings. This appeal must allege a procedural violation.
Disability issuesThe process by which students, staff, or members of the public may seek formal or informal resolution to an access complaint under the provisions of the Americans with Disabilities ActComplaint FormAn appeal to the compliance officer's recommendations may be made in writing to the college president, within five working days of receiving the resolution. The college president will respond in writing.
Faculty/CurriculumStudent complaints about faculty members or curriculum shall be made to the division dean who is that faculty member's supervisor.Complaint FormSchedule a meeting with the Executive Dean who oversees the corresponding area.
GeneralExamples of general complaints include staff, department, procedures, etc.Complaint FormNotify the Executive Dean of Student Affairs in writing within five days (see step 6 under "How to File a Formal Complaint").

Timelines

The formal complaint procedure is set up to take no more than 50 working days.  To have remedy under the formal complaint process, complaints must be filed within 90 days of the incident.  Complaints filed more than 90 days after the incident will not be accepted.

Impartial Decision Makers

Complainants who do not feel that they have access to impartial decision makers under the procedure outlined below should immediately notify a campus advocate of their concern.

Advocates

Assistance with the complaint process is available at Counseling, Student Life and Leadership Development and the Women's Center.

Record Keeping

All records of the formal complaint process, including the complaint form and all reports and findings, are the property of the college.  A formal complaint report that summarizes all formal complaints will be forwarded to the president, vice presidents and division/department managers on a periodic basis.  No information that would identify the complainant or the accused will be included in this report.

How to File a Formal Complaint

Step 1:  The complainant Completes a complaint Form.

Step 2:  The complainant submits the complaint form online or brings a paper copy to the office of the Executive Dean of Student Affairs.  The office is located on the 2nd floor of the Administration building (Building 3, Main Campus).

Step3:  A Student Complaint Officer will be assigned or the complaint will be directed to the appropriate contact.  The complainant will receive a letter via email with the contact person's information or the Student Complaint Officer's information as appropriate. The Executive Dean of Student Affairs will assign a Complaint Officer and will provide written notification of the complaint to the accused within five working days of receiving the complaint.  Campus advocates are available to assist throughout this process.  In some instances the Executive Dean of Student Affairs may choose to hear the complaint at her discretion.

Step 4:  The Complaint Officer will conduct an investigation.

Step 5:  The Complaint Officer notifies the complainant and the accused of their findings. Notification of findings will be sent within 20 working days of the complaint being filed.  The complainant will receive the results of the investigation in writing.  The complainant will review the findings and decide if they are satisfied with the results.  If they are not satisfied with the results, they may proceed to Step 6.

Step 6:  The complainant may appeal the ruling by notifying the Executive Dean of Student Affairs in writing within five days.  The Executive Dean of Student Affairs reviews the investigation and findings.  The Executive Dean may refer the appeal to a hearings committee at her discretion.  If the Executive Dean was the original decision maker in the complaint, the appeal will go to the Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs.

Step 7:  A final decision is made.  The Executive Dean of Student Affairs will make the final decision on the appeal and notify the complainant and the accused in writing within 10 working days.

See also, Student Complaint Procedure: Informal Report and Resolution Process.

Date Adopted: 
Wednesday, March 1, 2000
Date Last Reviewed: 
Tuesday, October 7, 2014